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News Blog

Alternate Realities Roundup 11/30

by Eric S. Peterson
- Posted // 2012-11-29 -

Democracy Now! hosts an exclusive interview with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on the future of his whistleblower site and Internet freedom, government surveillance and government secrecy. Top of the Alty World

“Julian Assange on WikiLeaks, Bradley Manning, Cypherpunks, Surveillance State”—Democracy Now!

Could a new geothermal technology that can be developed in all 50 states displace fossil fuels as an energy source?—The High Country News

The Root argues that another instance of a man shooting and killing an unarmed black teen is proof of the need to repeal controversial “Stand Your Ground” laws.—The Root

Top of Alty Utah

With food stamp benefits to expire for certain low-income Utahns, advocates brought in a national expert to strategize for developing transitional-jobs programs.—Salt Lake City Weekly

A Congressman is proposing a $50 million subsidy for oil-shale development including development in Utah and a taxpayer advocacy group considers the plan a major boondoggle.—Salt Lake City Weekly

Salt Lake City received a B+ for queer inclusivity in a recent study by the national Human Rights Campaign.—Q Salt Lake

Transition Salt Lake brings a cheery, progressive spirit to doomsday preparation.—Salt Lake City Weekly

Rantosphere

Shane Smith, a blogger for One Utah, reflects on the anniversary of the hacking of a British researcher’s e-mails, where he talks of a “trick” to use in one chart to demonstrate a climate-change trend.

“As you most likely don’t recall, back in November of 2009, a collection of people who have a hard time translating English into thought latched their little mindless grasps of the future onto a massive collection of stolen e-mails as the new and improved proof that climate change is a lie perpetrated by the Weather Channel and Al Gore. Or something. A short walk down amnesia lane will remind you that apparently if you use the word ‘trick’ in your email, everything you have ever said or done is therefore suspect. The possibility that ‘trick’ might mean a cleaver way of accomplishing something was just too much for the anti-science (and seemingly also anti-dictionary) crowd to grasp.Good times had by all.”—One Utah

The Long View

A special investigation by the Philadelphia City Paper has found Philadelphia’s district attorney operates one of the most profitable asset-forfeiture programs with little oversight into whether or not defendants are innocent or guilty when police confiscate money.

“While the District Attorney’s Office files hundreds of cases each year seeking the forfeiture of real estate, this process is in many ways separate and distinct from the thousands of cases it files against seized currency or cash. It is the latter that brings in the bulk of forfeiture revenue — about $4.5 million — and City Paper focused primarily on currency forfeitures for this story.CP analyzed records for thousands of forfeiture cases, spent weeks monitoring legal proceedings and spoke with many individuals caught up in the process of attempting to reclaim their property. The picture that emerged was a kind of “seize first, ask questions later” policy in forfeiting individuals’ money. You might think of it as a corollary to the better-known (and controversial) policy of “stop and frisk” that exists here and in other cities. Call it “stop and seize,” a legal dragnet that catches the innocent, guilty and unaccused alike.”—Philadelphia City Paper

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